When you ask people what Jesus did for them, many will respond by saying he died to pay for their sins. That’s true but is that the whole story?
It’s not. Jesus not only died for us; he also lived for us! Throughout his life he kept the commandments perfectly. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) But that’s just the beginning. God credits all that commandment- keeping, all that perfect living, all that righteousness, to believers. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) Jesus has become my righteousness. I have been saved by works – Jesus’ works which he worked for me.
This is what Isaiah was talking about when he said: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful to my God; for he hath clothed me with garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (61:10). Note that Isaiah said the Lord clothed him – the Lord covered him with the robe of righteousness. Isaiah’s robe of righteousness was given him by the Lord.
That’s the same thing Jesus was talking about in the parable of marriage of the king’s son in Matthew 21. There the man without the wedding garment was cast into outer darkness. What is so instructive about that parable is that the custom at royal weddings was that the king would supply a wedding garment for the guests. It would be his gift to them. We don’t know, but the man who was cast out might have been well-dressed. But he wasn’t dressed in the wedding garment that the king had supplied. By not wearing that garment, he dishonored and angered the king. He was thrown out into outer darkness. The thought that these wedding garments were gifts of the king also fits into the context of the parable because the king’s servants went out into the highways and byways to get guests – guests who would not have had the time or probably even the means to get a wedding garment of their own.
Jesus perfectly wove my robe of righteousness for me with his perfect life. Every good work he did was another thread of that robe. God has now given it to me as a gift to me. With Isaiah and Paul I give all glory to the Lord.